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What is the longest stretch without sunshine?

Dear Tom,

We’ve just gone through a very long stretch without any sun. What is the longest stretch of time when we saw zero percent of the day’s possible sunshine?

— Rob Homa, Elgin

Dear Rob,

Monday sunshine was the first recorded in the Chicago area since Jan. 21, ending an eight-day sunless streak. While prolonged, it fell one day short of the January record of nine days established Jan. 1-9, 1992, and four days shy of the city’s record sunless period of 12 days set from Dec. 29, 1991, through Jan. 9, 1992, an extension of the January record. Chicago’s sunshine climatology dates to 1893 and is maintained by Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski. He noted that this January could rank as the city’s second cloudiest, edging January 1998, which logged a dismal 20 percent of its possible sunshine.